Monday, July 18, 2011

Where are the facts?


For a long time now I have been asking myself "just what are the facts here?".

For nearly as long I've found that there usually aren't any and it is most likely that there is no such thing at all.

Today I was prompted by the term "peak oil".

My understanding of this term is that it relates to the "fact" that soon, or already depending on who you ask, humans will reach their peak oil consumption and thereafter the supply will start drying up. We won't be able to consume it so fast any more.

Well, this sounds familiar. I remember hearing the same thing when I was a kid 30 odd years ago.

Back then the oil was going to run out altogether before the turn of the century. Somehow we found more.

This isn't about justifying the continued use of oil, it is about how often humans get things wrong. Things we all too readily label as facts.

Another example which pisses me off is "Time Team" the TV show.

Time Team dig up some ground, find a bit of crockery, a coin or a dog's bone and before you know it they've sketched out an entire village, the plans for the houses, the jobs of the residents and how they lived.

It seems a long bow to draw most of the time. Often they cite precedent in that a similar village found somewhere else had similar stuff in it despite how little "evidence" they are actually holding.

I've often wondered if the referenced villages were created in the same fanciful way. I am sure a proportion are, so where does that leave the Time Team village? Completely in la-la land if you ask me.

Still more scientists are peering into the cosmos. Further and further with even more powerful telescopes across all sorts of visible and invisible spectrums.

The conclusions they arrive at amaze me. They are fantastic. Yet we still really only know BUGGER ALL about our nearest neighbour. We've not brought any samples back let alone visited the place and had a good look around.

Yet cosmologists are happy to declare alien life impossible or inevitable with equal certainty. They can discern so much from a shift in colour and a the slight wobble in an observation.

They can say what they like. We'll never get there to prove them wrong.

Scratching the surface...asking questions seems to quickly uncover no verifiable source, valid background, actual precedent, impenetrable logic, proper investigation...

So just what are the facts?

The only fact I can tell you is that I pretty much never take anything I see, read or hear at face value.

Chances are if it came from a human it is bullshit.

News = bullshit
Statistics = Bullshit
Studies = Bullshit
Someone said = bullshit
Survey = Bullshit
Did you hear = bullshit
Science = Bullshit
Web site = bullshit
The Church / Religion = Bullshit
Movie = bullshit
Documentary = bullshit
Politician = bullshit^100
TV = bullshit
Michael Moore = Bullshit
Greenpeace = Bullshit
Climate Change = Bullshit
Global Warming = Bullshit
Not Global Warming = Bullshit
President = Bullshit
Government = Bullshit
You = Bullshit
Me = Bullshit
Everyone else = Bullshit

So what are we all worried about?
Bullshit, that's what :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The dating world of the child-free


Recently in our yahoo group and facebook forums there's been some comments about the types of people who are "out there" and "available".

Unlike my local paper I am not using quotation marks excessively. I'm truly quoting someone and expressing some doubt about their availability.

It seems that a lot of singles on dating sites are approached (virtually) by parents of one form or another...married, divorced, single...whatever.

Despite the CF person's profile being very clear on the subject of children in the relationship at any point in time, it seems many parents still see them as fair game.

It got me thinking about why people would ignore these choices from another person.

It also got me wondering (again) about how I got so lucky.

I know I can't possibly have magical insight into why the predators in this scenario choose to behave the way they do. Their motives are many I am sure.

Maybe they see the child-free single person as a pre-doomed relationship.

By that I mean, if, and that is a big if, they manage to land a date with a child-free person they know up front that the relationship has a use-by date. They know that whatever they can get out of the relationship permanency is not one of those things.

Because of the internet it has become a much simpler numbers game. In the old days we had to go outside and go places to meet lots of potential partners. Now we just roll out of bed and log on.

This is a fantastic thing for those seeking partners. It is also a boon for those wanting to play games.

Imagine being in a relationship that includes children. Imagine that you aren't getting much in the way of loving from your partner. They may be dead, too busy, too tired, too pregnant, too unattractive now, too with someone else and quite probably just too uninterested anymore. Imagine that for some retarded reason you choose to remain in that relationship.

Right now any attention you get from anyone of the opposite sex is looking pretty damn good. So you logon on, get yourself an account on a dating site and start looking.

BOOM! Right there you have the reason why the childfree are targeted on dating sites. Right there you have the reason why all the CF stuff in their profiles seems to be ignored.

It isn't being ignored. It is being factored in people...FACTORED IN!

Maybe, just maybe, the way to find "the right person" through online dating is to NOT mention your CF status? Maybe that should be saved for face to face. That is what I had to do and it worked for me. Internet dating didn't exist for me.

When I met Susan the most amazing thing was our honesty. We gave completely of each other (perhaps even too much too early some may say) and found out pretty fast that we shared the child-free thing.

There was never a point when we didn't trust each other. We had some frank discussions and covered some scary ground but there was never any dishonesty involved.

What do I know about online dating? Not much I suppose in the final analysis. I've never had to do it. I know that if it had been available and socially acceptable when I was single I probably would have used it.

What I do know is that dating was a way to connect with people, spend time with them and find stuff out.

Back then dating was a physical thing where I tried to hide the real me as much as possible lest it scare people off. I certainly would not have advertised any flaws or socially awkward opinions.

It wasn't until I was truly "being me" that dating became simple. It wasn't until I had the confidence to "sample and reject" dates that the door opened.

Don't get me wrong. Statistically I am probably low on the dating success scale. Women mostly rejected me. :-) But when it worked, boy did it work.

So my conclusion?
I think online filtering combined with a high dose of face to face rejections might just get you to an acceptable partner faster than using online dating as your primary filter.

Maybe factoring face-to-face disappointment in will make it easier to sample and reject? Maybe expecting perfection makes it hard to sample because in your heart you know the odds are slim?

Head towards the people you like, not away from those you don't and if you see a light at the end of the tunnel remember it could be heaven or it could be an oncoming freight train ;-)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Carbon tacks - did you mean "carbon tax"?


I am totally opposed to any form of carbon tax, levy, charge or whatever you want to call it (you squirming spineless pricks we call politicians).

It isn't because I think polluters should not be punished or at least pay fair compensation for the clean up of their mess.

No, it is because the whole idea is fundamentally flawed.

Sadly this seems to mean I accidentally align myself, to a significantly lesser degree, with Tony "gob-shite" Abbott. As politicians go this guy is beyond the pale...but I digress.

The main reasons I object to a carbon tax are as follows:

1) The creation of new taxes requires the creation of new administration to handle them i.e. more public servants.

2) Point 1 comes at a significant cost. So already the tax isn't going where it should.

3) The semantics of who does and who doesn't pay what carbon tax and why is a joke. They are already talking about giving people back some of the tax. What? Why take it in the first place then you fucking idiots! How much energy, both physical and mental, is being wasted on these arguments? For fuck's sake, just put the GST up by a couple of percent and bypass the whole drama.

...and finally, this is the big one...

4) It won't work. It won't stop pollution, it won't reduce carbon use, it is focusing on precisely the wrong end of the problem. The consumers are already here and producing carbon. They'll just have to pay more for it.

Carbon is but a tiny proportion of the mess humans are making of the planet.

It is not news that I think the simple and obvious answer is to educate humans to be smarter about reproduction.

Humans need to understand that, whether they like it or not, they WILL eventually be held accountable for their decisions...or their children will (no, not the childrun! they are the fewcha!).

How about basing the carbon tax on the number of people in your nuclear family?

One person - bugger all tax because you aren't likely to asexually reproduce and create another carbon producer.

Similarly for those who are capable of breeding but have been surgically fixed.

Those with one child pay more carbon tax. After all, under normal circumstances this third person will continue to produce carbon long after your decomposing corpse has stopped it.

More than one child...well clearly you aren't helping but neither are you hindering the movement of birthrates in the sensible direction. More tax you shall pay!

Three or more kids. You are just taking the piss now. Clearly you have decided that everyone else is wrong and you'll do what you like. Good for you. More tax!

Hey, if the politicians can come up with stupid ideas that piss us all off why can't I?

Carbon tax - NO!
Carbon Tacks? Now there's an idea!